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Phillies players were playing ‘Fortnite’ in clubhouse during games last year

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Jeff Passan of ESPN has a story this morning about the overhaul of the clubhouse culture Philadelphia Phillies for 2019. Why the need for the overhaul? Because last year guys were “doing their own thing.” The kind of thing they were doing: leaving the dugout during games to play “Fortnite.”

When Gabe Kapler told his guys to “get their grind on,” this was probably not what he had in mind.

The best part: when then-Phillies first baseman Carlos Santana saw this going down in the middle of a nine-game losing streak toward the end of last September he grabbed a bat, went into the clubhouse and smashed the TV to get his teammates to knock that crap off.

While it’s suggested in the story that this was not a common thing — guys did it maybe a couple of times — the incident itself is not denied by anyone, nor is the notion that, due to Gabe Kapler’s hands-off managerial style, players not paying attention to games was not uncommon. The rest of the story has Kapler, Jake Arrieta and others on the 2019 Phillies talking about how the club plans to approach things differently this season.

I realize it was the end of the year and that, within days of the incident all the players and beat writers went their separate ways, but I’m kinda shocked this wasn’t reported until now. Seems like the sort of thing that would get out. Oh well.

In other news, if the Rays continue to lowball Blake Snell going forward, you have to figure Philly would be on his short list:

 

Gio González is now a free agent

Gio Gonzalez
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Everyone suspected this would happen and now it has: Gio González has requested and has been granted his release from his minor league deal with the Yankees. He is a free agent.

González stood to earn a $3 million salary if the Yankees elect to add him to the 25-man roster, with additional bonuses of $300,000 pending each start he makes after that, but nothing he did at Triple-A merited a callup. He issued 10 runs, six walks, and 19 strikeouts over his first 15 innings in the minors. He fired his agent, Scott Boras, late last week and hired CAA Baseball instead.

No word on whether CAA will be better at convincing anyone to sign a guy who walked six guys in 15 minor league innings to a big league deal than Boras was, frankly. My guess is that González will be on another minor league deal again soon if he wants to pitch in 2019.